Extinction Rebellion climate protest aims to bring Wellington to a standstill

The AM Show 07/10/2019

Commuters in Wellington are being warned to expect delays with a protest by Extinction Rebellion underway.

The group is blocking the street outside the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) on Stout St.

The climate activist group was meeting at Midland Park from 7am, according to their Facebook page.

The group's spokesperson, Jen Olsen, appeared on The AM Show earlier on Monday morning, but refused to say exactly what the group had planned.

I can't tell you the details, but it will be a disruption in Wellington.

"It's going to be a way of us making it really clear that we're facing a climate emergency and New Zealanders want action on that."

Six people are attached with metal pipes to a pink car at the Lambton Quay end of Stout St, while at the Balance St end of Stout St a group of people were attached to each other standing around a boat.

The Wellington protest is the first of 60 protests planned by the group in cities around the world.

Last week Extinction Rebellion made headlines when they sprayed fake blood from a fire hose onto the Treasury building in London.

Eight people were arrested in that protest.

Photo credit: Extinction Rebellion.

Olsen says people here, too, are prepared to be arrested if it comes to that.

"If that's what it takes, then yes," she said.

When asked if it was fair to disrupt the city's commuters, Olsen said she hoped people wouldn't be angry at the group.

"I hope that doesn't happen. I hope that people will understand that we're doing this to help them because we're doing this to bring about the change that is needed for their future and for their children's future,' she said.

If we don't do more to combat climate change, Olsen said, "the disruption that they're likely to face in the future will be far greater."

Extinction Rebellion Aotearoa NZ was established in late 2018 and has 20 branches throughout the country.

The AM Show / Newshub reporter James Fyfe